The potential foir civility does exist

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

A female reader called recently to thank us for the race column published in the Sept. 3 issue.

She said that politics has become so much more divisive. She is right.

All one has to do is look at the recent economic bailout effort to see that. 

The woman, a Democrat, wished there could be a return to the days of Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-Pekin) when politicians on both sides of the aisle worked toward common goals.

There was rancor and name-calling at the recent Republican National Convention as our reader pointed out.

But, we must say that State Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria), the GOP candidate for the 18th Congressional District seat, did Peoria proud with his remarks at the convention. There was no venom in his remarks.

“I have long been inspired by John McCain’s unconventional ways. You see, he is a different type of Republican.  He reaches out to all Americans, including those inner city residents not accustomed to seeing Republican candidates,” Schock said.

“I represent an inner-city area of Peoria, Illinois — a district that has never elected a Republican ... But, by trumpeting the timeless principles of our party, we turned the conventional wisdom upside down. I won by 235 votes ... After winning, I worked tirelessly to reach out to every constituent. I worked to resolve problems for the most needy in our community. Often I would get a comment, ‘Why are you doing this, you are a Republican?’ I always respond, ‘This is what the Republican Party stands for — a leg up, not a hand out... helping impoverished folks become self-sufficient, contributing members of society.”

Schock’s words do not fall that far from some words Sen. Barack Obama spoke at the Democratic convention.

Obama spoke of America’s promise.

“Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves — protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology ... That’s the promise of America — the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper.”

If both of these men are elected to office, and, if they stay true to the words they uttered, we just might see the kernel of hope that we can return to the type of political civility we saw with great men like Dirksen.

The country and the electorate would be well served by such a development.